When we showed up early, there were already over 1,000 people standing in line. It was crazy. It felt like American Idol. We had finished a pretty big convention the day before and were both so exhausted, but thankful for our pre-Tank training.
Casting turned into an 11 hour day, where we spent all day long condensing our story into a 1-minute script. We would practice all sorts of ways to present our scenario leading up to this moment and wanted to make sure we left no room for error.
Imagine, two guys, drinking three shots of espresso and running around an office to raise their heartbeats to the exact level of stress required of being on a primetime TV show like Shark Tank. Except, it’s the actual Shark Tank. That’s precisely what we did!
We would listen to Shark Tank on Hulu while driving to work. We would pop questions at each other to try to catch the other person off guard. You could say we got bit by the Shark Tank fever!
Overall, Shark Tank as a whole was as fun and nerve-wracking as you might imagine!
It’s easy to watch Shark Tank and think that Nui is an overnight success story, but like many brands, there have been a lot of moments, a lot of trials and tribulations and experiences along the way that got us to where we are now.
Both of us came into Nui with some expectations and experience of being entrepreneurs. It wasn’t our first rodeo, but when we sat in Kris’s mom's kitchen, wondering if people wanted sugar-free cookies, it was a very humbling experience.
We would scoop cookies by hand, and work on marketing, then scoop some more, and eat dinner, and come back, and scoop some more and work on financing, and scoop some more into the small hours.
It was a very involved process, and when you are that fixated on making something happen, and you don’t even know what the result will be, it can be daunting.
We found that when you share your victories and success with those near and dear, things fall into place. And it’s that kind of support that helped set the stage for our first Kickstarter.
We initially set out to raise $5,000 to get our keto cookie idea out of Kris’s mom's kitchen and to start a fully fledged keto kitchen. We raised over $22k and went on to crowdfund over 100k in 2 years, all thanks to incredible people like you who have supported our dream.
Those Keto Guys!
One of our most memorable memories was when a man declared proudly, “You guys are my heroes!” We were shocked, and honestly, a bit confused.
He told us that his son has Type 1 diabetes and that he can now confidently put a cookie in his son’s lunchbox and help him feel like a kid again. At that moment, it all changed, everything, and we feel entirely empowered to push keto cookies to the limit.
Collective moments shaped the decisions we made after that, like the huge decision to change our name to Nui. It was one of the scariest decisions we’ve made; we loved keto, and we loved cookies, would people want the change?
Then we met a mom who was looking for a healthy cookie for her kids, and she asked if we had a recommendation. We said, of course, try our keto cookies. But she replied, “Well, he’s not on the ketogenic diet.” And that’s when we realized a big predicament, a disconnect if you will.
Nui is all about celebrating the one thing that unites people from all different sectors of the food industry. We are proudly low sugar. Sugar is our common enemy. And just removing sugar from your diet can have all kinds of health benefits.
But yes, we are still proudly ketogenic, and so are our cookies, but we wanted to make a stand, and for us, this name Nui shares our passion, our vision, and is inclusionary for everyone who is sugar-free.
The Future of Nui
Since we were featured on Shark Tank, things at Nui have gotten a little bit crazier. We had our biggest sales day in the history of ever, and the phone is ringing off the hook.
Having the Shark Tank support us gives our brand the seal of approval, and while we can’t give too much away, we do think the future is very bright and alive with fresh ideas and flavors.
It’s been incredible hearing from friends and family, some new, some old, and some who have grown with us, and using their excitement and this combined platform and experience to see where we can spring to next; and we’re so very grateful that you found us and stood by us on this journey, it’s far from over.
So from everyone at Nui, we want to thank you from the bottom of our buttery heart for making this all possible. You are the reason we get to live out our dreams, thank you!